© Lisa Jane Rimmer
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A flash of bright light lit up Lily's bedroom.
“What’s that?” She whispered to Mr. Bear, her heart racing fast. Lily lay in bed, one hand holding on tightly to her favourite bear, the other gripping her quilt close under her chin. She was very scared. Lily thought back to her Mum telling her to think of nice things to help her get to sleep. She said to think of our holiday on the beach or the stars in the sky, but right now she couldn’t, she was far too scared.
Tap! Tap! Tap!
Lily quickly sat up. She looked around the room and noticed the bright light beaming through the gaps around her curtains.
Tap! Tap! Tap!
Lily took a deep breath. “Just be brave,” she thought to herself as she slowly got out of bed and tiptoed towards the window. She pulled back the curtains and there stood a little star, crying on her windowsill. The star was beautiful, glowing with bright light.
“Please help me,” he cried. Lily couldn't believe her eyes. She ran back to her bed and grabbed her Bear.
“Oh my word Mr. Bear there’s a star on my windowsill,” Lily whispered excitedly.
“Please help me I can’t find my way home,” said a little voice from the other side of the window.
Lily stared at the little star in amazement. Tears were streaming down the star's face. He was so upset. Lily reached out and lifted him off the windowsill. She took him in her arms and gave him the biggest hug she could. “There, there,” she said gently rocking him in her arms. “It’ll be alright. What’s your name?”
“My name’s Capella.”
“Oh,” said Lily as she continued to stare at the star. “Are you made of Jelly?” Lily noticed that Capella looked just like a silver star-shaped jelly.
“What’s jelly?” the star sniffled
“Oh, never mind,” Lily said breaking her stare “We’ll help you get home, won’t we Mr. Bear?”
The little star looked up at Lily, his face all wet from the tears.
“Really?” he said as he stopped crying. “You can get me home?”
Lilly smiled at the star. “Of course we can.”
At that moment the sound of footsteps was getting closer to her door.
“Oh, no!” she suddenly whispered.
“Quick, hide in my toy box.”
Capella zoomed across the floor and opened the lid on Lily’s toy box. The box was almost full and there wasn’t much room so he squeezed into a little gap between a big blue bear and a floppy brown pony. Lily grabbed Mr. Bear and scrambled back into bed. As she pulled her quilt right up to her chin she noticed that the toy box had tiny rays of light beaming from the gap in the lid. “Oh no.” she thought as she squeezed her eyes tight, pretending to be asleep.
Lily's Mum entered the room and crept over to her bed, looked, smiled, crept back across the room and quietly closed the door behind her.
“Wow that was close,” Lily said as she walked over to her toy box which was still leaking light from the little star. She pulled the lid open and Capella jumped out.
“Why did we hide?” Capella asked.
“Because it’s night time and I should be in bed, asleep.”
“But night time is when I’m awake and shining as brightly as I can.”
“Oh no,” Lily said. “I need lots of sleep at night, it helps me concentrate when I'm trying to read or do my sums.”
“I don’t do those things,” Capella said. “My Mum says that the most important thing for me is to sleep during the day so I shine as brightly as I can at night.”
“Wow, that’s just crazy.” Lily was now kneeling on the floor staring at the star in a trance.
“I want to go home,” Capella said, sadness in his voice. “I miss my family and my friends.”
“So how come you’re lost, what happened?” Lily inquired.
“As well as shining brightly, stars have special powers, but sometimes they don’t work” Capella explained.
“Oooooo tell me more,” Lily said barely containing her excitement.
“We can communicate by the power of thought, but it only works if we sleep well and recharge during the day”.
“Oh, I see,” Lily said completely engrossed in every word he was saying.
“I stayed awake yesterday and haven’t had any sleep, only because I was super excited to see what the Earth looked like during the day. I’ve never seen it in day colours before and wow, isn't it the most beautiful green and blue,” Capella said “but now I haven’t got any energy left to get in touch with my Mum to let her know where I am.”
Lily stared at Capella. She was amazed not only that she had a star in her bedroom but also how he was curious about the day, just like she was about the night time. They were so opposite but she was sure they could work together and get him back home.
Lilly thought for a while. “I know what to try!” She announced. She slipped to the door as quiet as a mouse, opened it just a titch, and peeked into the hall. “Follow me.” She whispered in her tiniest voice. Down the stairs she tiptoed clinging onto Mr. Bear, her eyes wide open, listening for any sign of her Mum but she heard nothing, not a sound. She knew it was safe to carry on.
“This way,” she whispered to Capella.
“CREAK!” The star had stepped on a very loud step.
“SHHUUUSHHH!” she said to Capella with her finger held up to her lips.
They all stood still for a moment and listened. Fortunately, her Mum hadn’t heard them so they carried on down the stairs.
“Phew,” Lily whispered. “Okay, let’s go,” she said to Capella, who was standing two steps behind her.
Soon Lily, Mr. Bear and Capella were down the stairs and had made it into the kitchen.
“We need to get into the garden,” she said, her finger pressed lightly to her lips. “Very quietly now.”
Lily made her way to the back door and noticed the key was still in the lock. She turned it and opened the door.
She quietly called Capella into the garden, "This way." Lily’s garden was full of colourful flowerbeds with a big blue trampoline in the middle of the lawn.
“What’s that?” Capella asked as they walked across the garden.
“It’s a trampoline,” Lily said very proudly.
“What does it do?”
“It doesn’t do anything by itself, you have to do something with it.”
Capella looked very puzzled.
“You step onto it and jump,” Lily said.
“Oh, but how’s that going to help?”
“Well, the harder you jump the higher you go.”
“Oh, I see.” Capella raised his eyebrows, wondering if it may just work.
“Hurry up then, go and jump as high as you can, you’ll soon get home.”
Capella walked toward the trampoline and climbed on.
“Hurry up then, jump.” Lily was very excited at the thought of watching the little star shooting into the night sky.
Capella jumped and jumped. He went as high as the fence.
“Come on Capella, you can go higher than that!” Lily teased.
Capella jumped even higher, so high he was above the houses now. Lily was feeling very pleased with herself, but then Capella stopped. “It’s no use, I just can't get high enough.” He sat down and started to cry.
Lilly put Mr. Bear down and ran over to the trampoline. She climbed on and put her arms around the little star. “I’m so sorry, I guess it’s not going to work,” she sighed.
They both sat on the trampoline in silence. “I wish I could help you,” Lily said to the very sad looking star.
“Now I have it!” Lily jumped down off the trampoline and ran into the garden shed. She suddenly remembered that the balloons leftover from her last party were still in there. The day after her party her Mum got quite cross with her when she wouldn’t stop playing with them and sit down for her tea and so they ended up in the shed! Lily skipped back out of the shed with a bunch of coloured balloons all tied on a piece of bright red ribbon.
“Hey Capella look what I’ve got!” Lily beamed as she skipped over to the trampoline.
“Wow! Did you get them from a rainbow?” the little star asked.
“No, of course not, people can’t touch rainbows” Lily laughed. “These are called balloons and if I let them go, they’ll float up into the air, up and up, really high! These will definitely get you home!” Lily smiled, extremely pleased with herself.
As Lily handed the bunch of balloons to Capella, he immediately lifted into the air. Lily was clapping and jumping up and down, she was so excited. As he floated up Lily noticed he seemed to be moving towards the great oak tree at the bottom of the garden.
“Oh no!” she cried as she ran across the garden. The little star and the balloons were now dangerously close to the very top branches of the old oak tree. Lily hardly dare look as she heard the popping from the top of the tree. She covered her eyes and held her breath for a second before she dared to peel her fingers back from her face. As each balloon gave a great big Pop! Capella dropped down the branches of the tree and was now clinging onto no more than the red ribbon which had hooked itself onto a very long lower branch. The little star was swinging in the wind, tears rolling down his little face. “It’s no use, I’ll never get home,” Capella sighed.
Lily felt her heart break. She was so sad. All she wanted to do was help the star get home and now it seemed impossible. She quickly ran to the shed to get a step ladder and ran back to the oak tree.
“I’m so sorry Capella, I’m out of ideas,” Lily said as she climbed up the steps and reached out to the little star.
Capella looked up at the sky “Look at my sparkling family up there, I really miss them.”
Lily unhooked the red ribbon from the tree and carried Capella to the ground. As they walked back across the garden to the trampoline Lily looked up and thought how it seemed like someone had thrown a handful of glitter across the sky. They both sat still on the trampoline and stared upwards.
“If you look, you’ll see they all form patterns,” Capella said. “There’s Pegasus the winged horse.” He pointed towards a glittering shape in the sky. “And there’s The Great Bear over there.”
“Oh, my word Mr. Bear, I wonder if he’s related to you?” Lily giggled.
“Look!” shouted Capella, “look up over there!”
Lily looked up into the night sky. It was so full of twinkling tiny stars. She thought it was so wonderful. Then she noticed that one of the stars seemed much brighter than the rest.
“That’s My Mum!” Capella excitedly said.
“Wow, she’s so beautiful.”
Capella stared at the bright star and concentrated very hard.
“What are you doing?” Lily asked.
“I need to try again to let her know I’m here”
Lily and Capella both sat there staring at the sky their faces covered in pure concentration. They stared for what seemed like the longest time. The brightest star in the sky started to pour out a waterfall of shimmering light. It floated across the sky like a beautiful silvery river, slowly pouring down and down. Lily rubbed her eyes as she could hardly believe what she was seeing, but it was still there and getting closer.
“Look!” Capella shouted laughing. “It’s my Mum coming to get me.”
He was so excited that as he stood up he lost his balance and fell off of the trampoline. He shook his head and looked again. The light was now almost over the garden.
“I’ve got to go now Lily.” Capella said as he jumped into her arms to have a big hug.
“I’ll miss you.” Lily hugged the little star as tightly as she could.
“I’ll miss you too.” the little star whispered.
Lily let go of Capella and he stood in the middle of the garden. The light had now completely covered the little star and was starting to lift him into the air.
He waved. “Bye Lily, thanks for your help, I’ll never forget you.”
“I’ll never forget you,” Lily shouted as she waved and watched him rise with the light into the night sky.
And then he was gone. Lily ran over to her bear and scooped him up into her arms. “He’s gone Mr. Bear,” she said sadly looking up into the sky.
“I miss him already,” she sobbed but as she rubbed her tears away she noticed another star twinkling much brighter than the others. “There he is!" she jumped up and down laughing. “There he is Mr. Bear!” She waved at the star in the night sky and then made her way back to bed.
The following morning Lily awoke to her Mum opening her curtains. “Come on Lily we don’t want to be late for your first art class.”
“But Mum I’m too tired, do I have to go?”
“Yes of course you do." Lily’s Mum put her hands firmly on her hips. "Why are you so tired? Didn’t you get much sleep?”
“No I didn’t.” Lily yawned, rubbing her eyes.
“Didn’t you try to think of something nice like I told you?”
“Yes I did, I thought of the stars in the sky, but I still feel very tired.”
“Well maybe you did too much thinking and not enough sleeping,” Lily’s Mum laughed as she left the room.
“Shusssshhhh!” Lily said to Mr. Bear, “let’s tell Mum later.”
With that, she got out of bed and walked across to the window. As she gazed up into the bright sky she whispered, “see you tonight little star.”
Nights passed and Lily grew impatient, she had decided to try and reach him herself. One day whilst her Mum was busy nattering away on the phone in the front room Lily took her chance.
At the foot of the stairs in the hallway stood a huge bookcase.
“If I can build a tall enough pile of books I just might be able to reach the stars.” Lily had been doing some very hard thinking and this was the best plan she could come up with.
One by one, Lily grabbed the books from the shelf and sneaked through the kitchen into the back garden. There she started to build a row of book piles, one slightly higher than the previous one. Now and then she would listen at the front room door just to check her Mum was still busy talking, and sure enough every time she was. Lily knew that once her Mum was on a phone call it would be absolutely ages until she finished talking, in fact, it sometimes felt like days!
Lots of times in the past Lily had tried to get her attention while she was on the phone, only to be told that she wouldn’t be long. Lily knew “not long,” actually meant ages!
Lily stood in the garden, with her hands on her hips.
“This has got to work,” she said with a look of determination on her face, as she walked towards the books and started to climb them. Lily got to the top of the highest pile, steadied herself and reached up as high as she possibly could without feeling she would snap.
“Oh big fat bottoms!” she was very frustrated as it had taken a lot of effort and she knew that her Mum would be finished soon, but she was nowhere near touching the sky.
“What on earth!” Lily’s Mum was standing at the back door. She definitely wasn’t amused as her face had gone so red she looked like a strawberry.
“I’m sorry Mum, I was just trying to see if I could touch the sky,” Lily mumbled as she jumped off the books.
Lily’s Mum was fuming. The books were very important to her and she most certainly wasn’t happy to see them in piles over the garden lawn.
“You’d better put every single book back exactly where you found it, right now!”
“Sorry Mum, yes of course.” Lily quickly picked up each book and put it back onto the bookcase in the hallway.
Lily was always full of ideas. Sometimes these ideas would be wonderful and all the adults would praise her and give her treats, but sometimes these ideas would land her in trouble and unfortunately, that seemed to happen the most.
It had now been some time since Lily had seen the little star. “I wonder what he’s doing?” she thought as she lay in bed. “Mr. Bear,” she whispered, “I miss Capella.”
Lilly had insisted that she look out of the window every night before getting into bed. Her Mum would ask “why do you want to look at the sky Lily?”
“To try and see what Capella’s doing,” she would reply.
“Oh, can you see him then?” Mum asked her not really believing Lily, but playing along.
“No,” Lily replied as she closed the curtain and shuffled back to bed dragging, Mr. Bear behind her.
“Don’t worry Lily, I’ll bet you’ll see him tomorrow night.”
“I hope so,” Lily sighed as her Mum kissed her goodnight and closed the bedroom door.
“Goodnight Mr. Bear.” Lily kissed her favourite bear and settled down to sleep.
Tap! Tap! Tap!
Lily sat up, her eyes wide and mouth even wider.
“Come on Mr. Bear!” Lily quickly ran towards the window and pulled open the curtains.
“Wow, you’re back!” She beamed as she saw Capella standing on her windowsill. She clapped her hands with glee and opened the window. The little star jumped straight into Lily’s arms.
“I just wanted to see you again.” Capella smiled as Lily gave him the biggest hug she could.
“I wanted to see you too, the stars were shining so brightly the last few nights I couldn’t work out where you were.”
“Like I said Lily, it depends on how much sleep you get as to how brightly you shine!”
Lily put Capella down on her bed and sat next to him.
“I want to show you where I live,” Capella smiled.
“I’d love to see your home, but how can I do that?”
“Well I’ve asked my Mum and she said that it’s okay for you to ride upon her waterfall of light.”
“Yippee!” Lily shrieked with delight.
“But you can only do this once as it takes up a lot of her energy.”
Lily, Capella, and Mr. Bear all made their way downstairs, “Shush,” whispered Lily, “watch out for that creaky…”
“CREEEAK!” Too late. Capella had stepped on the noisy step, again. They all froze like statues and listened, but they heard nothing, not a sound.
“Phew,” Lily whispered, “come on.”
They all carried on down the stairs, through the hallway and into the kitchen. Lilly turned the key in the back door and opened it.
“Come on then.” She gestured impatiently to the little star. She just couldn’t wait for her ride of the waterfall of light. They all stood in the middle of the garden as Lily asked: “Where’s your Mum?”
“I don’t know yet.” Capella stared at the night sky. Lily was staring too.
“Look!” Capella shouted, “there she is!” a broad smile covering his face.
“Oh yes!” Lily said very excitedly.
They both started waving frantically at the big, bright star in the sky as a waterfall of bright light began to fall from the star.
“Here she comes!” Lily was jumping, clapping her hands and smiling so much her face was starting to ache.
“Yes indeed!” Capella beamed who was also extremely excited as he was taking Lily home. The waterfall of light was getting closer and closer.
“She’s nearly here,” the little star said as the light was now just above their heads. It then began to surround them and started to lift them.
“Wow!” Lily said as the light lifted them higher and higher, “look Mr. Bear, our house is getting smaller.”
“Look! There’s the park, the trees look like fluffy green Lollypops.” Lily giggled.
Then they were so high up in the sky that all of the ground beneath them was just a swirl of different colours. Dark greens, blues, and browns with large pieces of cotton wool trailing in the wind. It sort of reminded Lily of the patchwork quilt her Nan had knitted last winter. The street lights looked more like fairy lights and the higher they went the more the fairy lights became larger groups of light. In fact, the lights now made a map of the world only lighting up the land, leaving large areas of dark blue in between.
“Here we are,” Capella announced very proudly. His Mum’s shimmering light had stopped just above a little fluffy white cloud.
“Step onto it,” the little star said to Lily.
Lily stepped out of the light onto the cloud.
“Ooooh!” she said feeling the cloud with her hands, “it’s all soft, like cotton wool.”
Capella jumped out of the light too and hovered next to Lily.
“This is where I live,” Capella beamed.
“I love it, it’s magical,” Lily smiled.
The sky was full of stars all shining like diamonds, big ones, and little ones, all in little patterns drawn in the air.
“What’s that?” Lily asked.
“It’s the Milky Way.”
“Why is it called that?”
“Come on, I’ll show you.”
Capella started flying towards the cluster of stars.
“But I can’t fly Capella!” Lily shouted.
“Sorry I wasn’t thinking; of course, you can’t fly, but you can jump.”
Lily looked puzzled.
“Jump across the little clouds,” Capella laughed.
So Lily jumped across the cotton wool stepping stones towards the Milky Way with Capella flying alongside her.
“Oh my word,” Lily said staring at the group of stars as they arrived.
“They’re all so shiny, they look like star-shaped ice lollies.”
“Yes, these are different and very special, they’re where we get our some of our energy from,” Capella said.
“Oh, do you mean like food?” Lily asked as she looked at the shiny star shapes.
These were very different from Capella who was most certainly a living thing. These stars were much smaller and something you could eat!
“Taste one,” Capella smiled.
Lily reached out and grabbed one of the stars. She started to lick it.
“Ummm it’s just so lovely and creamy.”
“Now you can see why it’s called the Milky Way.”
“Oh yes,” Lily said licking her lips.
Suddenly Lily’s cloud started drifting away from Capella and the Milky Way. “What’s happening?” Lily shouted.
“It must be the wind!” Capella quickly started to fly towards Lily, but Lily’s cloud was moving away too fast.
“Help me!” Lily shouted, “I’m scared!” as her cloud was now racing across the night sky.
“I can’t fly fast enough!” the little star shouted.
“Help!” Capella shouted to a group of giant stars who were close to where Lily’s cloud was heading.
The giant stars looked over at Lily speeding towards them. They quickly jumped on top of each other and formed a great big wall.
“Help me! Help me!” Lily cried.
Poor Capella could only watch as Lily’s cloud floated faster across the sky.
“POOF!” Lily’s cloud flew at pace into the wall of stars. The cloud had very quickly bunched up and finally stopped. Lily lost her balance tumbling over and as she lay there, her heart pounding, she gave a big sigh of relief.
“Yay!” the giant stars cheered as they collapsed the wall and brushed themselves down.
“Thank you,” Lily said as she wiped the tears from her eyes.
She looked over at Capella who was just catching up. “I want to go home,” she said, holding on very tightly to Mr. Bear.
“I’m really sorry, I didn’t mean for you to get scared,” the little star said.
“It’s okay,” Lily smiled. “It’s been fun seeing where you live but I want to go home now, I’m really tired.” Lily started to yawn.
“Mum, Lily wants to go home now, can you take her back please?”
“Of course I can, I think you’ve had quite enough excitement. It’s been lovely meeting you” Capella’s Mum said and she was almost too bright for Lily to look at.
Lily and Capella gave each other a big hug and a kiss as Lily suddenly felt herself being lifted off the fluffy little cloud. The waterfall of light was shimmering once more carrying Lily back down to her garden as she waved and blew kisses at Capella.
“We’re going home now” she whispered to Mr. Bear.
The beam of light finally reached Lily’s garden and she stepped out of the light and watched it rise back up into the night sky.
“Goodbye, thank you,” she shouted as she waved.
“Come on Mr. Bear.” Lily yawned and smiled as she walked back into her house and up to her bedroom. Lily climbed into bed and smiled at Mr. Bear. “We’ve been up in the sky with the stars” she whispered, “I love Capella and his Mum, and all the stars who saved me tonight.” And with that, she yawned once more and fell fast asleep.